A numerical study on the seasonal variability of polychlorinated biphenyls from the atmosphere in the East China Sea

Jun Ono, Daisuke Takahashi, Xinyu Guo, Shin Takahashi, Hidetaka Takeoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A three-dimensional/high-resolution transport model for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has been developed for the East China Sea (ECS). The POPs model has four compartments (gaseous, dissolved, phytoplankton-bound, and detritus-bound phases) and includes processes for diffusive air-water exchange, phytoplankton uptake/depuration to POPs, decomposition of dissolved phase, vertical sinking of phytoplankton, detritus production by phytoplankton mortality, and vertical sinking and decomposition of detritus. The POPs model is coupled with an ocean circulation model that can reproduce the seasonal variation in physical variables to represent the advection and diffusion of POPs. We applied the POPs model to the polychlorinated biphenyl congener 153 (PCB 153) from the atmosphere and examined the behavior of PCB 153 in the ocean. The model showed a remarkable seasonal variability of PCB 153. Concentrations in the dissolved and particulate phases are high in winter (January-March) and low in summer (July-September). In coastal regions, where chlorophyll a concentration is high, horizontal and vertical distributions in the dissolved and particulate PCB 153 concentrations are strongly affected by phytoplankton uptake. The sensitivity experiments on the dynamics of PCB 153 suggested that a change of Henry's law constant associated with water temperature is the major factor controlling the seasonal variability of PCB 153. The model-based yearly mass balance of PCB 153 in the ECS indicated that most of the atmospheric input (35.5kgyear-1) is removed by the horizontal advection outside the ECS (19.0kgyear-1) and accumulates to the sea bottom by vertical sinking (15.7kgyear-1). For comparison with PCB 153, we also conducted simulations for PCB 52, 101, and 180. The seasonal variations are similar to that of PCB 153. The mass balance of PCB 52 that has short half-life time and less hydrophobic property shows the different results compared with PCB 101, 153, and 180.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct


  • East china sea
  • Henry's law constant
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Seasonal variability
  • Three-dimensional transport model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'A numerical study on the seasonal variability of polychlorinated biphenyls from the atmosphere in the East China Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this